Saturday, February 11, 2012

Peace Corps Cars


So, I had step throat, which was unpleasant but at least it didn't last very long. It started when my throat was all scratchy on lumo (market) day, but I just walked around the ladies selling bananas and pretty fabric and cheap jewelry and fried bon bon donut-type things, sucking on frozen sachets of bissap (kind of like hibiscus) juice and blaming the dust. By the next morning it was clear that I had strep so I called Peace Corps's Med Office and after a little back and forth and a lot of box-reading (Salémata has no actual pharmacy and apparently I am not allowed to take the AMOX 500 amoxicillin from the Health Center because it's made by some company in India with suspect dosage reliability) I took some of the antibiotics that I had in my med kit and went back to bed. It was weird and sad to realize that the health services that I'm always encouraging people to use are considered unusable by our medical office. It's also reassuring that I have my own med kit and that there's an office full of people in Dakar worried about my antibiotics. 

The AMOX 500 that I wasn't allowed
to take looked like this.
The next day I'd been planning on meeting up with Jubal and Jackie, a couple of my PC neighbors, and biking in to Kédougou (biking is fun, and also there was a nation-wide transport strike) but I really just didn't feel up to it. Luckily Pape (one of the Peace Corps support staff guys) was coming out to my area to do some site set-up prep work in a village called Dakately, and he was nice enough to drive over and pick me and Jubal up. Getting a ride in a Peace Corps car is wonderful, so much smoother and faster and less dusty than public transport or biking, I was really happy about it. 

We rode along to check out Dakately (lovely village, worst road ever) and were impressed by their lovely community gardens, enthusiastic people, fancy new health post buildings, and spectacular cell phone reseau (reception). Really, though, there are sections of the road that seem more like a boulder field crossed with a ravine and one part is very obviously going to just be a river during wet season. But aside from that it's delightful. 

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